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    U.S. Soldier Infected With Coronavirus In South Korea

    U.S. Soldier Infected with Coronavirus in South Korea / AP
    The U.S. confirmed Wednesday that a member of the military stationed in South Korea had contracted the coronavirus, the first U.S. service member to be infected in the outbreak. Officials said that the soldier had visited the American military base in the Korean city of Daegu, the epicenter of the outbreak in South Korea on Tuesday before testing positive for the virus.

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    “The patient, a 23-year old male, is currently in self-quarantine at his off-base residence KCDC and USFK health professionals are actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether any others may have been exposed,” a statement from U.S. Forces Korea said. After Korea reported 51 cases last week, the number of infected people has jumped to 1,261 as of Wednesday, with approximately 80 percent of the cases occurring in Daegu.

    The roughly 28,500 American military personnel in South Korea have been instructed by leadership to not go off-base amid the rising number of cases in Korea — which is now the most affected country besides China. Officials also said that South Korea would scale back joint military exercises with the U.S. in the wake of the epidemic.
    The U.S. soldier visited Camp Walker, which is in Daegu, on Monday and Camp Carroll from Friday to Tuesday, the military said. U.S. Forces Korea said that it "is implementing all appropriate control measures to help control the spread of COVID-19 and remains at risk level "high" peninsula-wide as a prudent measure to protect the force." The military is encouraging all personnel to practice strict hygiene procedures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

    South Korea has seen an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and on Wednesday morning local time the health authority reported a total of 1,146 cases. There have been 11 deaths in South Korea. The coronavirus outbreak is centered in mainland China, where there have been more than 2,700 deaths linked to COVID-19. There are more than 78,000 confirmed cases in mainland China as of Wednesday morning local time, according to the latest figures from China's national health commission. — Phil Helsel

    Deaths in mainland China pass 2,700

    The number of deaths in mainland China linked to the coronavirus illness known as COVID-19 rose to 2,715 as of Wednesday morning local time, that country's national health commission said.
    There were 52 new deaths in mainland China, all of which were reported in Hubei Province, which is at the center of the coronavirus outbreak and where the city of Wuhan is located, according to the health commission.

    There are now more than 78,000 confirmed cases in mainland China. Previously, the number of deaths was reported at 2,663, and the number of confirmed cases was put at more than 77,600.
    There were 406 new confirmed cases reported as of the end of the day Tuesday local time, China’s national health commission said. — Salina Lee and Phil Helsel

    South Korea reports 169 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to more than 1,100

    South Korea’s health agency reported 169 new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 2,600 people in China, bringing the total number of cases in South Korea to 1,146. Eleven deaths linked to COVID-19 have been reported in South Korea. The new cases were reported Wednesday morning local time by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, the number was 977 total cases.

    The country has one of the largest numbers of confirmed cases outside of mainland China. Twenty-two people in South Korea have made full recoveries, according to that country's health authority.
    The epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak is in mainland China, and the majority of cases and deaths have been reported there. The eleven deaths from the virus in South Korea have mostly been at a hospital in the county of Cheongdo, near Daegu, The Associated Press reported. 

    Many of the cases have been tied to a Daegu church. The 11th death involved a Mongolian man who was born in 1984, which would have made him around 35 years old, the KCDC said. He died on Feb. 25. — Nayeong Kim and Phil Helsel

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